Recommendation of the Week:
The Bourne Trilogy (Blu-ray/SD flipper discs, $24.98 per movie, much lower at retailers)
Flipper discs are back! Remember back when HD-DVD existed, and they'd put a standard def edition of the movie on the flipside of the HD? Universal is bringing it back: Frosted-Blu on one side, regular shredded wheat on the other. Now you'll be able to loan your movies out (blasphemy!) to non Blu-ray owning buddies, or buy the standard definition in the hopes that you'll one day make the upgrade ... maybe when God of War III comes out later this year. The three Bourne movies, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, are the first discs to get the treatment, and both sides are packed with all the same bonus features from previous releases. I watched these again (both sides) recently, and forgot how good they were. Now I'm going to go look at latent images in the hopes of triggering my own forgetting CIA splinter cell training.
Read on after the break for the rest of our recommendations, and let us know what you're watching!
Xbox Live Video Marketplace (Xbox 360)
A Scanner Darkly (240($3) SD to rent, 800($10) SD, to own)
While the Philip K. Dick novel that this is based on is far superior, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Maybe it was the awesome rotoscoped animation, or maybe it was Robert Downey Jr.'s manic and bizarre delivery (apparently he wrote his lines on Post-It notes and scattered them around the set), combined with Woody Harrelson's laid-back paranoid. The conversation about the bicycle is worth the price alone. Even Keanu Reeves, although he's in full-on "whoa" mode is bearable in the one. Either way this is worth a rental. You'll definitely want to get your own personal scramble suit after watching this. Side note: if you pick up the audiobook for this, it's read by Paul Giamatti, and it is also excellent.
Netflix Watch Instantly (Mac/PC, Xbox Live, PS3, subscription required: starts at $8.99 per month)
If I have one guilty pleasure in this world, it's enjoying The Goonies way too much. I bought the oversized Goonies movie magazine when I was a kid, long before I saw the movie. I read the novelization. I played the video games (which you can still do today). I bought the import soundtrack. I waxed poetic about it to everyone. I used a post about board games to pitch my idea for The Goonies II into the ether. Heck, just this week I bought a Goonies-inspired art print and a T-shirt at Target. Suffice it to say, I have a problem. But can you blame me? The Goonies is a perfect movie, even if it is trapped in the time-warped world of 1985. Isn't it about time we caught up with the Goonies as adults? Maybe they have a bunch of wacky kids of their own who could get into madcap adventures. Until then, we have this true classic to watch. Goonies Never Say Die.
PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3 or PSP)
Caprica ($7.99 HD $4.99 SD, to own)
I'll make the same argument for this that I did for Battlestar Galactica: The Plan in an earlier Joystiq Box Office: it's Battlestar Galactica. Like cold pizza, it's still good. It might not be as fresh and original as the .... original (reboot, that is), but it's got an Adama in it, and it's setting up the Cylons. Honestly, I was surprised with the pilot and thought it was decent. And the first uttered "frak" sounds a lot closer to the f-bomb it replaced from our own language. It's closer to William Gibson or Neal Stephenson than it is to the television series that concluded recently, and hopefully it'll catch on. Sure, there's a lot of whining going on in the first half but hey, they're only human. Right? Oh, wait ... Well, at least you can bring on the guns and the killer robots. Pew pew pew!
Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
Boogie Nights ($28.99, lower at many retailers)
I never would have expected Marky Mark to play a well-endowed porn star in a movie about the porn industry in the 1970s, with John C. Reilly as his Star Wars-obsessed best friend, but here you go. Boogie Nights is a fantastic character piece that just happens to be set during in the "adult entertainment industry", and it has terrific performances from Wahlberg, Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Phillip Baker Hall, William H. Macy, and more, including magician extraordinaire Ricky Jay. The Blu-ray doesn't have any new extras, just a port of the last DVD special edition, but it looks better than it ever has, thanks to that magical blue laser. Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia is also out this week, which is another fine film, so you could treat yourself to a double feature.